Smart TV App QA Process: 10 Tips to Make it Through on the First Attempt

12. prosinec 2017

Your team developed and thoroughly tested a great application for Smart TV. You are just a step from delivering it to new customers. You sent these release candidates to an app market – and it begins. Weeks and sometimes months of communication and delays between you and the TV vendors. The QA procedure. Is that your least favorite part of the business? Then our tips and information on smoothing out the process are written just for you.

First things first: Don’t use any shortcuts and don’t try to evade the QA. It will either backfire immediately, or might cause unexpected problems in the future when the app is already running, which can impact your business. However, there are typical problems and reasons for returns – which you can avoid, if you prepare your application according to our advice.

  1. Prepare everything beforehand. Pushing the application on the market is not just about the app itself. Manufacturers want to have precise documentation consisting of all of the app’s aspects; they require screenshots, forms, sometimes checklists or their own prepared tables, icons, and even signed contracts. Don’t let these formalities delay the approval. Some manufacturers require signing an NDA and paper contract before the application is published. In such cases their local account manager has to be contacted. Sometimes, the contract has to be written for every country or region (e.g. Nordics, UK covers UK and Ireland). Paper contracts are required because of the revenue share, especially in a case the application includes online payments or user registration for e.g. SVOD services or if it is a premium preinstalled title.
  2. If your app is supposed to run only in particular countries and thus geoblocked in the rest of them, better check where the testing team is located – it is highly probable they are seated in those blocked areas. Prepare for them a white-list according to their IP addresses, so that they can use your application without any restrictions.
  3. Don’t forget to provide the testers with any login or payment data, that might occur while using your app. It is also important to keep in mind that the test process might sometimes last even half a year – therefore the test access data you give to the QA has to last at least as much, so that they don’t become obsolete in the middle of the process.
  4. Beware of the content! Of course, the ‘adult content‘ is the most problematic and even though you might think this doesn’t apply to you, unfortunately the manufacturers are really strict on this matter. Was there news on your TV app about Pussy Riot? That is a no-go, even though the word ‘pussy‘ doesn’t relate to your application. The same goes for nudity in any movies your app may contain. Explaining it is perfectly legal and not R-rated in any way won’t help – just delete the movie for the QA process (and any future updates). Also a wrong word coding or anything not in line with the documentation will cost you precious time before the app will be allowed to hit the market, so don’t forget to check even the insides of your (otherwise perfect) app.
  5. Prepare for your app a set of reactions to various disasters. It has to act accordingly when the connection is broken or some error occurs – and don’t count just with standard situations. Some QAs will literally unplug the device to see your app’s reaction.
  6. Always test (also) on a real device. Emulators might be usefully during developing, but are not fool-proof – and the QAs are definitely going to try the real behavior of your app. Also, the more the merrier! So try it ideally on all the devices you have access to. Each has different rendering, standard support, etc., so be a step ahead.
  7. Beware in documentation, application and even in the access codes of anything related to any ‘rival business‘. It sounds marginally, but even buttons in a documentation with ‘competing‘ description (for example A,B,C,D instead of 1,2,3,4) can send you back.
  8. Keep your documentation up to date – even screenshots and everything they might compare with the application itself. Note: if your app is prepared for more markets and some of them aren’t English-speaking, it’s ok to have just one universal English documentation, including screenshots. It’s good to start writing the documentation with this in mind.
  9. They read the documentation. Whole. Really! Which is great, because they won’t return it because of something you already wrote down; but it carries a risk: It can’t be too extensive. Nor too short, of course, but the longer the documentation, the longer the approval process; so balance carefully the information you provide and consider its importance.
  10. Similar caution goes for the release notes, when you update your app or go through another QA round. For a customer, you of course fill in everything you added or changed. But anything you mention to the manufacturer’s QAs will be again thoroughly tested – even though it might be just a change of a title – and it prolongs the approval significantly.
  11. Alright, we said only ten tips; however this is more of a bonus: If you want to avoid all of the above and still be successful with your app on the first attempt, contact us. :)

Our tips come from a lot of experience with the QA processes – be it our internal testing or dealing with the manufacurer’s or customer‘s QA (in the last month we passed 15 QA processes on various platforms). And as we would like to give you the whole set of know-how, we also prepared a table showing how long does it take for various platforms to approve your application – considering everything went smooth thanks to our advice.

Platform*/Time period**

1 week or less

2 weeks

3 weeks

4 weeks

more

Smart TVs

 

 

 

Samsung

 

 

 

 

LG

 

 

 

Philips

 

 

 

 

Toshiba

 

 

 

 

SONY

 

 

 

 

Panasonic

 

 

 

 

Hisense

 

 

 

 

Media players

 

 

 

 

 

Apple TV

 

 

 

 

Roku

 

 

 

 

AndroidTV

 

 

 

 

FireTV

 

 

 

 

Game consoles

 

 

 

 

 

Xbox One

 

 

 

 

PlayStation

 

 

 

 

* HbbTV apps are not included in the manufacturer's QA process, so apps there can be live immediately.
** Average time period differs based on many factors; sometimes it can be approved immediately, sometimes in half a year.

To sum it up: Find what each of the platforms require and make sure you really comply. Check out not only your app, but also its content and ease everything for the testers as much as possible, so that they can’t even consider something an obstacle. And don’t forget that

WE CAN HELP YOU WITH EVERYTHING

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